Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for one in every four deaths.1
Many Americans are living with medical conditions that raise their risk for heart disease. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly half of all adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoke – or some combination of these three risk factors.
Other medical conditions that also raise the chances of developing heart disease:
- Overweight or obesity
- Poor diet
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive alcohol use
The American Heart Association suggests three basic steps to prevent heart disease for people of all ages: Watch your weight, develop healthy eating habits, and be physically active. 2
1. Watch Your Weight.
Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for heart disease. Although our metabolism slows as we age, it is possible to avoid gaining weight over the years. Developing healthy habits when it comes to both diet and regular exercise is essential to prevent heart disease and related illnesses.
2. Develop Healthy Eating Habits.
Eating foods that are rich in fiber, whole grains, oily fish, nuts, legumes and seeds all help to promote heart health and prevent heart disease. So does reducing saturated fats, trans fat, sugar and sodium from your diet as much as possible. And consider skipping red meat for a few meals a week and replacing it with leaner cuts like skinless poultry.
3. Be Physically Active.
Regular exercise is critical for heart health. You don’t need to run a marathon to improve your physical condition. To start, aim for moderately intense aerobic activities, such as brisk walking, for at least 2½ hours (150 minutes) each week. Running or jogging just 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) per week is enough to keep you and your heart in good shape and prevent heart disease. Kids need at least an hour of physical activity every day. The American Heart Association also advises that at least twice a week you do muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest shoulders, and arms).
Making Change Happen In The Workplace
History shows that employees have a hard time incorporating changes into their daily routines that improve their diet and increase physical activity. Sticking with healthy changes over the long haul is even harder.
Yet, employers recognize the importance of encouraging a culture of health and reducing employee healthcare costs. Companies want and need corporate health and wellness programs that help employees make lasting healthy changes while at the same time demonstrate a return on investment by reducing employee healthcare costs.
Doing so pays off.
Research shows that companies that do a better job of engaging their employees and promoting a healthy lifestyle, have lower employee healthcare costs and higher employee productivity. 3 Further, personalizing interventions to provide each employee with the right plan and roadmap to stay healthy is also supported by research as an effective way to ensure success. 4
That’s why at Newtopia our corporate health and wellness programs combine a scientific and hyper-personalized approach to wellbeing that leverages genetic testing, smart technology, personality-matched coaching and social networking. With an 80% success rate and reduced employee healthcare costs within a year, our approach to corporate health and wellness is paying off for our clients and their risk-assessed employees.
Does your company have the right corporate health and wellness program in place to improve employee health and productivity, and lower employee healthcare costs?
- American Heart Association
- 2013/2014 Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health Staying@Work Survey announcement, Sept. 26, 2013
- Metabolic Risk Factor Reduction Through A Worksite Health Campaign: A Case Study Design